Nigerian communities hailed for hospitality to Cameroonian refugees
Communities in Nigeria harbouring refugees from Cameroon have been hailed for their hospitality to their guests.
Over 80,000 Cameroonian refugees are taking refuge in Cross River, Taraba, Benue and Akwa Ibom states, among others.
Speaking after the distribution of food items at refugee camps in Cross River State, the leaders of two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Refugee Relief Initiative (CRRI) and Fomunyoh Foundation (FF), said Nigerians’ hospitality towards Cameroonians taking refuge in the country was remarkable and a rare gesture.
The Nation learnt that the NGOs distributed food items such as rice, noodles, fruit juice among others to refugee camps in rural, urban areas as well as major cities, including Calabar, Oban, Akor, Adagom I & III, Okend, Ajasor and Basua all in Cross River State; Ikyogen in Benue State and Abuja.
Dr. Celestine Atangcho and Christopher Fomoyouh, chairman, Board of Directors of CRRI and president/founder of FF said they were impressed with the hospitality Nigerians gave Cameroonian refugees living in the country.
Fomunyoh said: “We thank Nigerians for their kindness. We have been touched by their behaviour. I see the love Nigerians show towards these refugees. It’s remarkable; it’s truly a brotherly love.
”We want to thank the states harbouring the refugees, namely Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Taraba and other states where there may be a couple of refugees, including the Federal Capital Territory. There’s a refugee camp in Abuja.” Atangcho lauded the Federal Government for the attention given to refugees.Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has urged the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to evolve ways of partnering the state to respond to refugees’ challenges.
He spoke through the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr. Inyang Asibong, during a visit by UNHCR officials. She said it is necessary to profile the activities of the organisation as they relate to refugees in the state, adding that her ministry coordinates activities of development partners and mediates between the state government and international organisations working in the state.
The Head of UNHCR office in Cross River, Mr. Tesfaye Bekele, said the state was one of the few states where refugees were treated with dignity as brothers and sisters. He praised Governor Ayade for this.